Patch Testing Products

Patch testing can help identify if the ingredients of a product might irritate your skin. By performing a patch test at home, you can determine if a product can be added to your skincare regime.

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Patch Testing FAQ

Everyone should patch test a new product, but it’s especially important for anyone with sensitive skin or those who have had previous bad reactions to any other products or foods.

You may experience an adverse reaction to a product simply because your skin doesn’t like a specific ingredient (natural or otherwise) or your skin doesn’t respond well to the way a product is formulated. This can result in a rash (allergic contact dermatitis), or it can cause your skin to dry out, increase oil production or breakouts.

The ingredients of products are listed on each product page to help you identify ingredients you may have existing sensitivities to.

You should patch test in two places: first, somewhere hidden (should a reaction occur); and second, somewhere close to the area where the product will be applied once it’s been approved for usage. For example, if you’re testing for your face, a great location is the side of your neck or behind your ear. If you’re testing for your elsewhere on your body, try behind your knees, your belly or your upper arms.

Once you’ve determined where to patch test, apply a tiny amount to the area. There should be no other products on the skin so that you can properly test this product. Reactions will typically occur with 24 hours but may take up to 72 hours, so we advise waiting until this time has passed.

If you’re patch testing a product to see if it will make you break out, you should go about things a little differently. First, you should apply the product directly to your face on either your cheek or your chin. These are two areas that are most prone to blemishes because there’s a higher concentration of oil-producing glands.

Apply your new product daily (to the same area) for a week to determine whether your skin will react. Product-related breakouts will typically occur within this time frame.

Major reactions: Red, bumpy or splotchy skin that feels itchy or painful. In this case, you should absolutely discontinue use and either discard the product or give it to a friend. You can treat the affected area with a soothing product, such as aloe vera or milk of magnesia.

Mild reactions: You may also experience a mild reaction, which could mean one of two things. The first is that your skin isn’t fond of the product, so you should discontinue usage. The second scenario is that you’re using a product that causes an intended reaction. Products containing acids will do this — including lactic, salicylic, glycolic acids, hydroquinone and retinol. These reactions should be short-lived and will occur almost immediately after application, and last no longer than a half hour. If the reaction worsens over time or doesn’t get better within the half hour, discontinue use. If skin settles down within half hour, it should be okay for you to continue using the product.

Normal reactions: If your skin doesn’t react at all, except to do what the product promises, then you’ve found the perfect match!

Breakouts: Obviously, you want to keep an eye out for any new pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. These can usually be seen or felt, but you can also examine your skin with a magnifying mirror to determine if there are any clogged pores. If your skin is breaking out, it’s best to discontinue use.

We cannot stress enough that product directions and warnings are included on products for a reason. Please read product labels, follow product directions correctly and adhere to any warnings about when not to use certain products.

Follow treatment in the right order: Certain products like skincare should be used in the correct order. For example cleanse, tone, moisturise, sunscreen and then make-up. Other products may require your skin to be clean of all other products prior to use.

Use the correct amount of product: Using more than the recommended amount of product does not mean that you will achieve better or faster results. Use the recommended amount of product and be patient; some products may take a few weeks to show results.

Choose the right product for your skin type: Generally, skincare products include the skin types they are suitable for. If you have questions about any products suitability for your particular skin type, please contact us.

Discard products on time: Products that have a “Use by” date indicated on the product/packaging should not be used after the specified date. Other products may have "Period After Opening" (PAO) symbol in the form of an icon on the product with 3M, 6M or 12M (M = months). This tells you the time limit within which the product should be used after opening it, provided the product has been been stored under normal conditions. When in doubt, throw away anything that has changed in smell, color, or texture. Trust your eyes and nose!

Store your products right: How you store your products is even more important than a Use By Date or PAO dates (which are really just estimates). To make sure your products last as long as possible, keep items away from heat, sunlight, humidity, and air. Look for pumps instead of jars, for example, and make sure your hands are clean before use so you don't contaminate your products.